The University of Saskatchewan is seeing a significant increase in Indigenous student enrolment this fall.

.A total of 2,672 Indigenous students were registered on the first day of classes, which is an 11.3 per cent increase from 2017.

“There are a combination of factors for the increase in Indigenous student enrolment such as student recruitment strategies and comprehensive student supports,” assistant vice-provost of strategic enrolment management at the U of S Alison Pickrell says. “We have a really active and engaged Indigenous student body here and I think that helps.”

Pickrell says the school is encouraging students to self-declare as Indigenous.

“Each fall we do an awareness campaign about why a student might want to self-declare.”

A total of 3,119 Indigenous students were enrolled in various programs at the university over the course of the previous academic year.

The assistant vice-provost says Indigenous student numbers are expected to continue to grow throughout the year and anticipates total Indigenous student enrolment will reach its highest number in the university’s history by the end of the academic year next spring.

“The province is growing and young Indigenous people make up a lot of that new growth,” Pickrell says. “These enrolment numbers show me there is a young Indigenous demographic that is ready and eager to pursue their post-secondary studies at the U of S.”

There is also an increase of approximately three per cent in total fall term enrollment at the U of S, with 21,318 students registered.

“Our U of S family continues to grow, and I welcome our students to another school year of innovation, curiosity and creativity,” Pickerell adds. “This enrolment growth is something we have planned for, and I’m very happy with our progress. A number of our colleges have strategically increased seats, including the College of Kinesiology, the College of Engineering and the Edwards School of Business.”

(PHOTO: University of Saskatchewan logo. Photo courtesy of University of Saskatchewan.)